VCU Psychology Department

Do physicians’ racial biases affect clinical decision making?

Research has demonstrated that automatic, and sometimes unconscious, racial bias can affect how we make decisions about others. But can it influence something as important as a medical decision? read more...


What affects parenting in high-risk communities?

We know that living in high-risk communities is stressful for parents and youth. How does stress, including exposure to violence, affect parents’ management of their adolescents? read more...


How can we predict future rates of tobacco use?

Longitudinal population-based surveys of tobacco use can depict current prevalence levels as well as transitions over time, but how can they be used to forecast those in the future? read more...


Can coping skills help the bereaved bend but not break?

How do college students cope when a loved one dies? Bereavement is difficult at any time in life, but is coping with bereavement different for college undergraduates? read more...

school lunch

Why are VCU researchers dumpster diving?

If school cafeterias force children to take fruits and vegetables on their lunch trays, will students eat them? Will they like them more over time when fruits and vegetables are served regularly? read more...


Dr. Kirk Brown

Associate Professor (tenured)

Social Psychology (primary), Health Psychology (secondary)


PhD (1998), McGill University

Fellow, Society of Experimental Social Psychology

Contact Information

Phone: 804-828-6754

Office: 808 W Franklin, rm 202

E-mail: kwbrown at

Web site: Research Lab

Research Interests

Implicit in many approaches to the enhancement of well-being is the importance of becoming aware of ones cognitive, emotional, interpersonal and social ecological circumstances. My research examines the role of attention and awareness, and specifically mindfulness, in self-regulation and psychological, physical and social well-being. More broadly, I am interested in the study of consciousness and its role in human functioning. Conducted in both laboratory and naturalistic settings, my research program addresses both theoretical and applied issues.

Selected Publications

Brown, K. W., Goodman, R., & Inzlicht, M. (2013). Dispositional mindfulness and the
attenuation of neural responses to emotional stimuli. Social Cognitive and Affective
Neuroscience, 8, 93-99.

Brown, K. W., Weinstein, N., & Creswell, J. D. (2012). Trait mindfulness modulates
neuroendocrine and affective responses to social evaluative threat.
Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37, 2037–2041.

Brown, K. W., West, A. M., Loverich, T. M., & Biegel, G. M. (2011). Assessing adolescent mindfulness: Validation of an adapted Mindful Attention Awareness Scale in adolescent normative and psychiatric populations. Psychological Assessment, 23, 1023-1033.

Biegel, G., Brown, K. W., Shapiro, S. E., & Schubert, C. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress
reduction for adolescent psychiatric outpatients: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of
Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77, 855-866.

Brown, K. W., Ryan, R. M., & Creswell, J. D. (2007). Mindfulness: Theoretical foundations
and evidence for its salutary effects. Psychological Inquiry, 18, 211-237.

Recent Courses
Recent Grants

Brown, K. W., McCain, N., & Way, B. M. (K.W.B. Principal Investigator). Source: VCU Presidential Research Incentive Program. Project title: Psychological and genetic predictors of immune responses to stress. Direct cost: $49,950. 2010-2011.

Brown, K. W. & Coogle, C. (Co-Principal Investigators). Source: U.S. Administration on Aging. Project title: Mindfulness-Based Alzheimer's Caregiving: A novel intervention to enhance caregiver well-being and relational functioning. Direct cost: $102,694. 2008-2011.

Goodie, A. S. et al. (K.W.B. Co-Investigator). Source: Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre. Project title: Mindfulness and level 2 gambling problems. Direct cost: $173,313. 2008-2010.

Brown, K. W. (Principal Investigator). Source: Virginia Commonwealth University, College of Humanities and Sciences. Project title: Mindfulness as a predictor of multimodal stress responses. Direct cost: $5,300. 2008-2009.

Moynihan, J. et al. (K. W. B. Co-Investigator). Source: National Institutes of Health (R01). Project title: Mindfulness to improve elders' immune and health status. Direct cost: $800,000. 2005-2009.

Recent Sponsored Student Grants

Goodman, R. J. (K. W. B. Sponsor). Source: Mind and Life Institute. Project Title: The effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on episodic and prospective memory function in aging adults. 2013-2016.

Quaglia, J. T. (K. W. B. Sponsor). Source: Mind and Life Institute. Project Title: From intra- to inter-personal: Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on emotion regulation in social contexts. 2013-2016.

Cordon, S. L. (K. W. B. Sponsor). Source: Mind and Life Institute. Project Title: Mindful interactions: Effects on couple conflict-related stress and relationship functioning. 2010-2013.

Stewart, K. E. (K. W. B. Sponsor). Source: National Institutes of Health (F31). Project title: Biobehavioral mechanisms of emotion and HIV disease. 2008-2010.

Hölzel, B. (K. W. B. Co-Sponsor). Source: Mind and Life Institute. Project Title: Does mindfulness training change the processing of social threat? 2008-2010.

Sahdra, B. (K. W. B. Co-Sponsor). Source: Mind and Life Institute. Project Title: Measurement and correlates of non-attachment. 2008-2009.